Lymington Nature Reserve

After spending most of the day in the woods, spotting a few birds and ponies, I yearned for the sea and some coastal birds. I read about Lymington nature reserve and it sounded like the place to be. We put it in the sat nav and ended up in someone’s driveway. We never actually found any proof that we were in Lymington Nature Reserve, but there was a footpath. The weather had turned, and being more exposed by the coast, the wind was quite oppressive. Two minutes out of the car and down the footpath we spotted a little egret paddling in the estuary.

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The egret took off at the sight of us to perform a spectacular aerial display of swooping, hovering and circling as he waited for us to leave his turf.

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We passed a bridge and a few other bedraggled looking walkers. There were hundreds of brent geese plodding about, honking in the field that ran parallel to the path. I had never seen brent geese before. They gave us a fly passed too.

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As we reached a sort of beach, we saw lots of sandpipers poking about for something to eat. Then I spotted something more exciting, a curlew. I recognised the curlew from one of my gran’s watercolour paintings that hangs in the bathroom of my parents’ house. Its long hooked beak was prodding the sand in hope for food. I got far too excited by this and ran down a slope to get a better view of the bird. I didn’t see the slippery concrete covered in seaweed. I ended up on my back with a sliced hand, but it was worth it for the picture.

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Suddenly the rain started to pour. With the wind driving the rain into our faces and only one of us (me) wearing a waterproof coat, we hurried back to the car. About half way along the path the rain stopped, giving the little egret one last opportunity to demonstrate his aerobatics.

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